Contrary to popular belief, the optimal way to get the vitamins you need is by consuming a varied diet rich in fruits, vegetables and other plant foods, including seeds, nuts and whole grains.
Eating vitamin-rich foods instead of taking copious amounts of vitamin supplements is the same idea as eating foods with high water content instead of guzzling endless amounts of water each day. If you are strategic about the foods you put into your body, you can maximize the benefits on a physical and cellular level.
High vitamin doses can be toxic and can cause imbalances in the body. Some supplements are beneficial, but they should never be relied on a replacement for a healthy diet. Instead, try incorporating vitamin-rich foods into your diet to optimize your health!
Vitamins 101 – The 13 Essential Vitamins for Bodily Function
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- B Vitamins (Riboflavin, Niacin, Thiamine, Folate, B12, B6, Pantothenic Acid & Biotin)
There are two types of vitamins; water soluble (i.e. vitamin C, thiamine) and fat-soluble (vitamins D, E, & A). All this means is that some vitamins are found and stored in oils and fats while others dissolve in water and mix easily in your blood. Fat-soluble vitamins tend to stick around in the body longer, while water soluble vitamins are eliminated through the urine quicker and small amounts are stored in the body at one time.
A handful of vitamins serve as antioxidants, like Vitamin E, C and beta-carotene (the precursor to vitamin A), and are beneficial for our bodies because they can slow aging and protect against cancer.
Now that you know a little more about vitamins, let’s get to the food!
Foods Rich in Vitamins
Vitamin A: Vitamin A is typically found in food sources high in cholesterol and saturated fat such as cheese, milk and cream. We want to stay away from these types of foods. But there is hope! Focusing of foods rich in beta-carotene will generate Vitamin A in your body.
Beta-carotene: Beta-Carotene is a natural antioxidant that is used by the body to make Vitamin A. So instead of consuming fatty and high cholesterol foods to get our dosage of Vitamin A, I encourage you to find it indirectly through vegetables and certain fruits. The stronger or more intense the color of a vegetable or fruit, the higher the concentration of beta-carotene content.
- Foods rich in Vitamin A & Beta-Carotene: Cantaloupe, pink grapefruit, broccoli, spinach, sweet potato, carrots, mango
Get the most of these vitamins with my Feel Gratitude Sweet Potato Soup!
Vitamin K: Our intestines typically produce Vitamin K and it’s function is primarily to allow blood clotting when you are injured. It also ensures calcium gets to the bones and blood and helps prevent calcification from occurring in the arteries and soft tissues.
I recommend that you increase your intake of these foods for preventative measures to combat injury and to prevent calcification.
- Foods rich in Vitamin K: Cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach, cabbage, kale and other dark leafy greens
Try my Creamy Vegan Cauliflower Nourishing Soup!
Vitamin D: This vitamin is essential for the absorption of calcium and for the formation of healthy strong bones. In the Beauty Detox Solution (BDS) I go in depth about why dairy is detrimental to our bodies and does not belong in our diet.
- Most of us think that Vitamin D can only be derived from drinking milk, but we are forgetting our largest natural provider of Vitamin D- the sun! Spending at least 20 minutes outside a day will take care of your Vitamin D needs. I recommend a brisk 20-minute walk in the morning. Our bodies can organically synthesize Vitamin D when your largest organ, your skin, is exposed to the sun. Pretty cool, huh?
On the other hand, if you do not have regular access to the sun for whatever reason, in that case a D3 supplement is recommended.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an antioxidant and helps repair and regenerate collagen. It is essential for beautiful, youthful skin. Most people think they are getting a good dosage of vitamin C through the containers of orange juice they buy.
But these types of store-bought products are pasteurized, so much of the bioavailability of the vitamin to your body is compromised, and in any case these products are acid-forming in the body and high in sugars, which will destroy your skin’s beauty. I’d rather blend the orange with its fiber, or eat the orange, but not juice the orange. These foods are better sources:
- Foods rich in Vitamin C: Broccoli, citrus fruits (use your lemons!), tomatoes, cabbage, red bell pepper, Brussels sprouts, papaya, strawberries, leafy green vegetables
This Vegan Cheesy Broccoli recipe makes a great side dish!
Vitamin E: Vitamin E is involved in immune function and is an antioxidant. It can help protect your skin from free radical damage. Increase your intake of these foods when you feel yourself coming down with a common cold, and notice the strength of your body’s immune system in warding off minor infections.
- Foods rich in Vitamin E: Almonds, almond milk, sunflower seeds, almond butter, olives, spinach, asparagus, leafy green vegetables, olive oil (use moderate amounts)
My Almond Blissful Beauty Shake is so delicious and loaded with Vitamin E!
Folate: Folate is an underrated vitamin and is integral to our cellular functioning. In particular, Folate helps to produce and maintain new cells. That’s why it is so important for my Pregnant Beauties. It also helps prevent changes to DNA that may lead to cancer. Additionally, folate is what your body uses to make red blood cells and is vital in preventing anemia.
- Foods rich in Folate: Sea vegetables, asparagus, collard breeds, mustard greens, romaine lettuce, parsley, cantaloupe, spinach, tomato, broccoli
Try this amazing All-Plant Stewed Collards recipe!
Vitamin B6, Niacin, Riboflavin, Pantothenic acid & Thiamin: These are all B vitamins that work as a complex, essentially providing you with energy and helping you to maintain proper brain function. They are also essential for beautiful, healthy hair. These are the energy vitamins, so stock up!
- Foods rich in B6, Niacin, Riboflavin, Pantothenic acid & Thiamin: Bananas, nutritional yeast, millet bread, mushrooms, spinach, seaweeds, green beans, peas, broccoli, avocado, coconut yogurt, sunflower seeds, collard greens, squash, sweet potato, yam, nuts (except peanuts!)
Having my Coconut Banana Dream Smoothie feels like you’re treating yourself to a decadent treat, but it’s also loaded with these B vitamins!
Vitamin B12: A deficiency in B12 can be identified by symptoms of fatigue, vision problems and soreness of the mouth. B12 helps create strong hair, nails and skin and it helps to maintain a healthy digestive system. B12 reduces fatigue and regulates our central nervous system, minimizing stress.
As with other B vitamins, your gut can manufacture and synthesize missing components of the complex when your inner ecosystem is balanced with a healthy ratio of probiotics. Incorporate nutritional yeast into your diet. Try using my Classic Dressing or the Oil-Free Basil Lover’s Dressing on a bed of freshly tossed kale lettuce and vegetables. But if you are vegan, supplementation is still generally recommended.
- Foods rich in B12: Probiotic & Enzyme Salad, nutritional yeast, sea vegetables, blue-green algae
I meet so many people that take dozens of different supplements every day. While a wholefood-based multi-vitamin/multi-mineral can be good insurance, challenge yourself to have an excellent diet. Incorporate these vitamin-rich foods into your diet and eliminate unnecessary supplements. These foods have added benefits and will absorb more effectively into your body.
After investigating into the world of vitamin-rich foods, you will see that there is a BIG emphasis on greens and vegetables! If you haven’t already shifted into the plant-based, Beauty Detox lifestyle, my 30 Day Roadmap to Healthy Weight Loss is the perfect way to get started. You can eat your pounds away while nourishing your body on the cellular level. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Thank you so much for the bounty of information! I have a couple questions about food combining: 1) Is nutritional yeast considered a carb/starch? My favorite dressing is made with tahini, lemon juice and nutritional yeast, but I’m worried this might be a bad combination (carb with protein). 2) How do you classify coconuts? Dr. Shelton calls it a starch, others call it protein. They are my favorite food, but at first I thought they were fruit, so I tried to eat them alone. Can I combine them with other foods? I hope so!
I have soooo many more questions, but I’ll keep it reasonable with these two…for now 🙂
Hi Amanda, nutritional yeast it pretty neutral, since it almost like pre-digested amino acids. Your combo is fine. I classify coconut meat (is that what you mean, the flesh?), as fat, so better w starches but all fat should be moderately consumed w protein. xx
This is interesting I mean young coconut combine as a fruit and starch but matue one? Can I eat starchy meal like sweet potato salad and have coconut balls(mature one, coconut oil stevia) as dessert?
Many thanks to you
First off, thank you so much for you heaven sent book! Has changed my life and improved it in soo many ways :). Since I follow it so closely and know that you aren’t big supplement fan, I was wondering what you think about lipoic acid (in the R form). I take it a lot as I find it seems to regulate my blood sugar, thoughts?
Hello Miss/Mrs. Snyder,
Can you please let us know what “nutritional yeast” is and where it can be found? I’d love to buy some for my ’82 year old’ mom, who’s taking 6 different kinds of medications (Plavix, Omeprazole, Digoxin, Pravastatin, baby aspirin, etc.), and has almost NO energy. There has to be some foods, vegetables, etc. that she can eat to get her ‘energy level’ back, isn’t there??? Thanks and I think your column is great.
I love your book and what you are trying to share with the world!!!
I was just wondering what you thought about eating for your blood type? I am an O+ and alot of the things you promote as wonderful foods (ie avocado, coconut products) my blood type should be avoiding 🙁
What are your thoughts? I would really appreciate what you have to say!! THANKS!!!
Hi Ania, regardless of what blood type someone is, their digestive system and organs function the same way. There may be some truths to the blood typing theory, but it is certainly not the end all be all. I think avocados are amazing to include in the diet, and it would be a shame to miss out on them. Listen to your own body, and see which specific foods make you feel better/worse. xx
Do you think vegan diet is the best or the most optimal for human being? If not, what animal products you would suggest to include ones diet?
Hope my next question is not too personal but I was just wondering what is your blood type?
Thanks for all the good tips!
Thanks for the great info Kim. 🙂
As far as B-12, I try to incorporate nutritional yeast in almost everything. However, do you have a specific supplement for B-12, that you can recommend? I follow a vegan diet but there’s always the option of choosing liquid form versus capsules and I’m not exactly sure which is best, or does it matter?
I like liquid! xx
I’m currently in the Blossoming Beauty phase and I was wondering if I could still eat potatoes? It’s a vegetable, but also a carb, and now I’m totally confused… Help? 😀 I really hope they’re okay because I used to eat them quite often.
Btw, I love your book! The philosophy behind it makes so much sense and I had never thought about food that way. And neither did my friends and family (I’m gently steering them toward your book too ;-)).
Keep up the good work!
HI Amber, oh great! Eat sweet potatoes instead, which are better. Or better yet for BBs, squash! Avoid white potatoes. xx
I was wondering if the strips of roasted seaweed are good for you? I know they are oily so not sure if theres a better type (like nori) to eat. I really like them so I hope they are ok 🙂
I never eat those. I only eat the raw, untoasted ones. You will get used to those too, they are really yummy! Try the regular dulse leaves. Delish!!
Hi Kim, I found you while perusing all the Today show video segments on health a few days ago and something about what you said just struck a chord w/ me. I was doing a protein/veg diet (I won’t name it) that kept me from eating any form of carb (bread, fruit,…) and then I binged after being on the diet for 2.5weeks. Ate all sorts of stuff that when I wasn’t on the diet, I wouldn’t eat. Just crap for a few days. Needles to say I knew I needed to do something different so I decided to try your GGS. I’m HOOKED. So my question is, Can I drink too much? Just today, I made your batch and it’s gone now. And I want to make more. Can you have too much?
Let me know soon. I don’t want to shock my body too much. Go from one extreme to the other.
HI Priscilla, any diet that tells you not to eat one whole category of macronutrient (fat, carb, etc) is going to unbalance your body in the long run. The key is balance.
Make sure you are having your GGS on an empty stomach. Check out the Beauty Detox Solution for ideal portion recommendations, and how to make sure your overall diet is balanced.
I’ve read thru most of your book and I’m not sure if I can follow it.
Would it still be beneficial for me to drink the lemon water and follow it w a probiotic and GGS ?? I can definitely reduce my meat intake, I don’t drink soda or use any artificial sweetener. I’m going to do my best w/ the pairing but no promises. (weak smile).
On completely different notes, can you make the green juice in the Vitamix?
And do you always need to use an apple and pear or can you mix up the fruits too?
Thanks for this posting. The information complements that in your Beauty Detox Solution book. Very handy!
Off topic – a friend of mine started a macrobiotic diet and insists no one should eat plants in the nightshade family…but I adore tomatoes, chilis, eggplants and especially red peppers. She says they aggravate athritis and that Taoists do not eat them (not sure why that’s relevant since she is not a Taoist).
I have no arthritis (neither does she), and eat nightshade family plants daily – tomatoes and red peppers. No doubt you have heard this idea before. What is your take on it?
Also – any eggplant recipes? I notice eggplant is included in your Beauty Foods list, but never used in recipes. It’s no good raw, so I guess it would have to be cooked. Actually I was hoping for a caponata recipe, but I’d take anything since eggplant is one of my favorites,
Hey Julie, the macrobiotic diet says a lot of other things too- like having your diet consist of 50% grains, having no fruit, and that includes avocado. Obviously I’m not a macrobiotic adherent! I think the diet has some benefits, but largely from an omission standpoint. Macrobiotics keeps you from eating processed foods, too much meat, etc. I eat tomatoes and red peppers almost daily. The rest of my diet is pretty alkaline as well. If you ate a ton of brown rice, which in large amounts would be pretty acidic, or other acidic foods like dairy you might get joint issues. Listen to your body, and see how certain foods work best for you. xx Kimberly
I went to a health food store today to purchase the raw sauerkraut for my enzyme salad. They only had the salted one. The sales clerk suggested Kim Chi. It seems to have the same type of ingredients as when making the probiotic enzyme salad recipe. However, I’m somewhat skeptical in eating it. The sales clerk also told me that the Kim Chi smelled and tasted pretty bad. Is it OK to buy Kim Chi in place of the Raw Sauerkraut?
I’m not sure you can find an unsalted raw sauerkraut in the store, which is the one big disadvantage. Kimchi is okay, as long as you get the kind with no fish sauce or additives. xx
Hi Kim! Thanks for the great article. It’s a good thing I love broccoli so much, because it has almost every vitamin! I was wondering, since tomatoes are technically a fruit, should you eat them only on an empty stomach, or do they digest differently than other fruits?
No the fruit rule only applies to sweet fruits, not tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, etc. 🙂
I was wondering what can pregnant women eat ?
what is a good way to give all those nutrients to a fetus, without eating meat … i’m a vegeterian and a bit afraid that a fetus will lack protein.
Love your book , here in Belgium, it totally changed my view!
This is very good tips for health
I really love your book and your philosophy about food!
thank you for all those informations about vitamins.
I just have a few questions about quantity. Can I have too much?
Can I eat too much of seeweed by example, and do we need a lot to have all the vitamins we need?
Since I follow the plan (for almost 2 weeks, and GGS is so good in the morning), I’m eating big portions of all kind of vegetables. I stick with 2 o 3 fruits a day and reasonnable portions of quinoa, starchy vegetables and fat. But the the greens and other vegetables I eat them in big quantity, can it be too much? (because I’m not losing weight), It’s the balance between getting enough vitamins, nutriments and protein versus still losing a couple pounds that I’m not sure.
Also, I don’t know nutritionnal yeast and I haven’t found it in store here
(I’m french and I live in Montreal, Canada, so maybe it’s my translation),
do you usually find this product in grocery or health store?
thank you for everything
What about the cleansing part of your program? Are you eating P & E salad, taking probiotics, digestive enzymes, MagOxy, getting colonics or enemas? You have to clear out waste to lose weight. xx
I was wondering if you had done a blog on Liver supporting foods in the past or if you could include one in the future? I have read about Liver cleanses but I would rather try to stick to foods and provide nutrients essential for the liver to burn fat, considering it is the major fat burning organ in our bodies. I have been following your food combining principles as much as I can and have been drinking the GGS for the past few months and I am so grateful I came across your book! Thank you.
Thanks so much for posting this. I posted the folate question on your facebook today but I should have read your blog first!! Of course you would have addressed that question! I am REALLY enjoying your book. I am sure that I am not alone in saying a huge THANK YOU for sharing your knowledge.
You’re welcome! It is my joy and honor to share.
I have been browsing your website an am very interested in your ideas. I have made my first glowing green smoothie this evening to drink in the morning… I have also ordered your book which I’m really excited to read. I was wondering if you could recomend any foods/ smoothies I could make to help reduce my cellulite which is really getting me down. I hope to hear from you soon.
Try incorporating some grapefruit into your diet. Cellulite isn’t just fat though- it’s about strengthening your cellular membranes, which happens with an all around healthy, balanced diet. I don’t really recommend many supplements, but sunflower lecithin is supposed to be helpful for cellulite (not soy lecithin).
Thanks for your reply! I’ll give it a go! I loved my smothie this morning!!
Vitamins are so important and it is important to get them from food! What is your take on a B12 supplement people who eat animal-free?
This is a great guide! I’ve been looking for a nice clean breakdown like this. Thanks for sharing this!
Thank you for this incredible life changing book. I am 9 weeks into it, currently still in Phase 2, and feel FANTASTIC! I have changed everything to mimic your instructions the best I can to mesh with my everyday life. The only complaint I have is the annoying comments from people telling me I’ve lost too much weight and look sick. I don’t feel that way, one bit.
My question is embarrassing but need an answer, my bowel movements have been heavy, and loose, for the last 6 weeks, something that i feel shouldn’t be, considering what i’m putting into my body. I’m following everything in Phase 2 with the exception of occasional cheat meals during the weekend, but nothing crazy. Any suggestions or advice?
over the last 6 days, i’ve tried cutting out cold milled flaxseed from my salads and stopped taking two capsules of the Magnesium Oxy at night in an effort to find out what causing it, but nothing. I await your response. thanks.
As you’ve said many times that dairy should be eliminated from our diet, how do you recommend we get our needed calcium?
Melba, I want to answer this question for you because i notice your question and others on this blog ask questions that are answered by the book. Calcium is not only found in cheeses, and dairy, but there is more than enough calcium found in your daily intake of vegatables and nuts (broccoli, almonds, peas, spinach, etc) also, small amounts of sun exposure assist the body to produce vital vitamin D to help strengthen bones in addition to D found in fruits and vegatables. Hope that helps.
Hey Kim! I love your blog and I’m almost finished reading your book! I had a question about digestive enzyme supplement: what are some digestive enzyme brands you recommend?
I’ve been following your program for about a month now and I am no longer full after drinking the green smoothie. It’s not grounding enough for me. Any suggestions? Thanks.
Try waiting 20-30mintues after drinking smoothie and have half an avocado with some rice crackers, celery sticks with salsa, or gluten free toast with almond butter. I alternate all three during the week if i’m extra hungry in the morning.
I have recently discovered you and I have to say I am absolutely fascinated! I am a vegan and I am learning so much from your website and videos on the internet.
I was just wondering, do you eat almond butter? My diet is very low in fat and I’m trying to incorporate some healthy fats.
Almond butter is recommended by Kim, and the back of her book has some great nut pate recipes as well. Adding a whole avocado to your intake daily should satisfy your healthy fat intake.
Hello to all readers and Kim!
I accidentally found your blog and it intrigued me. I am a health food adherents. We are often faced with various health problems and so people are looking for solutions to diets and dietary supplements, thus avoiding the consequences of malnutrition. Basis have to put an early age, later to avoid obesity or body otrādi.
I believe that the focus on healthy living and natural food is never too late.
I like the helpful information you supply to your articles. I?ll bookmark your blog and check once more here frequently. I am fairly certain I will learn plenty of new stuff right right here! Best of luck for the following!
Thank you! Come visit again. 😉
Hi Kim!! I learned about your book through my sister. I was very impressed with your knowledge about all of these foods. I am a meet eater and really never dieted, however i am trying to change my eating habits. I have a bit of a belly i was woudnering if you can tell me what food should i eat to make it less obvious. IN addition i was also woundering if teh green smoothie healps with scars in teh body. I had chicken pots when i was 8 years old and luck my stayed with the marks in my body and have not been able to get rid of it. I was also wondering what is your advise for people who loves to eat bad food ( unhaealthy food) ?
First off, thank you so much for you heaven sent book! Has changed my life and improved it in soo many ways :). Since I follow it so closely, and know that you aren’t big supplement fan, I was wondering what you think about lipoic acid (in the R form). I take it a lot as I find it seems to regulate my blood sugar, thoughts?
Love your recipes and blog, thanks so MUCH! I’ve been using a lot more avocado as salad dressing instead of oil. GREAT suggestion. I am curious about one thing in regards to food combining. I’ve been taking blue-green algae as a supplement in powder form and I’ve had several people suggest I add it to my food! I usually feel fantastic after eating proper combinations. However I discovered today that these superfoods are protein! So I’m guessing that regular combining rules for protein apply to this as well? Like no avocado/superfood and no starch/superfood?
p.s. how do you classify sprouted seeds and beans… protein?
Hi …i’m currently taking Milled Flaxseed with Probiotic & Vitamin D is this ok to take daily or maybe my daily intake of food would be surfice??
ß-Carotene is a strongly-colored red-orange pigment abundant in plants and fruits. It is an organic compound and chemically is classified as a hydrocarbon and specifically as a terpenoid (isoprenoid), reflecting its derivation from isoprene units. ß-Carotene is biosynthesized from geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate.”^’-
Have a good one
After reading your books and understanding how nutritious sea vegetables are, I’ve really tried to incorporate them in my diet. I found ‘Annie Chun’s’ seaweed packets and was wondering if they are ok? They seem to be sold in most health food stores.
Is it ok to take a B12 supplement if you are a Vegan? Actually, the food sources seem to be less.
Hi Rahul – check out the blog post I wrote all about B12: Everything You Need to Know About Vitamin B12, But Were Afraid to Ask: http://bit.ly/2LKfqJF. Lots of love! 😉
Very helpful article. Brilliantly explained. Thanks for sharing this and keep up the good work. Very much appreciated
Thanks so much – lots of love! 😉